NEW GOVERNMENT INTERNET
SERVICE AFFECTS MILLIONS OF MEN
Falls Church, VA-- At 10:30 a.m. (EST) on Dec. 2, 1998 a "switch"
was thrown, giving millions of young men an easier way to fulfill
a civic and legal responsibility. As of that moment, 18- through
25-year-old male U.S. citizens everywhere (as well as male non-citizens
residing in the U.S.) were able to register with the Selective Service
System using the Internet.
"This is real,
interactive, on-line registration," notes the Honorable Gil Coronado,
Director of Selective Service, who activated the new, on-line service.
"For nearly two decades men have gone to post offices, completed
and mailed a registration form, and waited 60 to 90 days to receive
an acknowledgment card from us. A man can still register by mail,
but now there is a better way. If he has a valid Social Security
number, he simply connects to the Selective Service Web Site at
http://www.sss.gov, which links
him to the Agencyís computers. He clicks on the "Register Now" icon,
types in his registration information, clicks on the "Submit" button
which appears on the screen, and instantly receives his Selective
Service number. Additionally, he receives a formal acknowledgment
postcard in the mail within two weeks." The Agency hopes that registration
via the Internet becomes the primary way of registering, Coronado
notes. The new system will accept on-line registrations between
8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET weekdays.
the new system during a visit to a Washington, D.C., area high school
for a special kick-off event. Using personal computers at the schoolís
computer lab, several young men turning 18 years old became the
very first men to register on-line with Selective Service.
requires virtually all men to register with Selective Service within
30 days of turning 18. About 1.8 million men are required to register
each year. Although late registrations are accepted, a man cannot
register after reaching age 26. Failure to register is a felony.
Registration is linked to many federal and state benefits. For example,
a man must be registered to be eligible for federal student loans
and Pell grants, job training programs under the Job Training Partnership
Act (JTPA), and federal jobs in the Executive Branch of the government,
including jobs with the U.S. Postal Service. Male immigrants who
fail to register as required cannot obtain citizenship. Half of
the states have supporting legislation which precludes men who are
required to register, but who have not done so, from receiving many
state benefits, like state tuition assistance, eligibility for state
jobs, and (in some cases) enrolling in state post-secondary institutions.
U.S. relies on an all-volunteer military today, the Selective Service
System and the registration program help America remain prepared
to reinstate a timely and fair draft in a future crisis, should
a draft become necessary.
Brodsky or Barbi Richardson, (703) 605-4100